Downsizing your life is an exciting time. Both Tiny houses and mobile homes are options that can offer financial freedom with significantly less purchasing costs than full-scale homes. However, when you think about living small, it is crucial to consider the very real difference between a tiny house and mobile home. Interested buyers should evaluate their financial, mobility, and lifestyle needs when deciding between these two kinds of homes.

This blog post explains eight surprising differences between these two types of homes.


Tiny Homes Have Better Mobility

Although the name would provoke the opposite assumption, mobile homes are generally more challenging to move than tiny houses. Once a mobile home is built, they are generally better left stationary. On the other hand, many tiny homes are easily towed. If you are looking to embrace a nomad lifestyle, a tiny house will likely suit your needs better than a mobile home. Mobile homes are better suited for buyers looking to stay in one place for an extended period of time.

Mobile Homes are Cheaper

A genuinely quality mobile home can be purchased for around $25,000. Luxury mobile homes will run around $60,000. However, the industry standard for tiny homes steadily sits at $75,000. That being said, tiny homes will have fewer utility costs in the long run. But, if immediate budget is your priority, a mobile home is the better choice.

Both Homes Have Different Construction Timelines

While mobile homes and tiny homes are smaller versions than traditional houses, their construction takes very different timelines. Mobile homes are generally manufactured on an assembly line. This means that a builder can have a mobile home up and running in as little as a week. Contrastingly, a tiny home floor plan is usually more complex. It takes a professional a minimum of a month to build a tiny home, and a minimum of 4 months for DIY enthusiasts to create their own home.

Tiny Homes Have Less Renovation Rules

Receiving permits to build a tiny home is complicated, but expanding your tiny house is relatively easy. Since tiny homes are so unique, they generally fall outside of government jurisdictions regarding what you are and are not allowed to do when remodeling. As a result, you have a lot of creative liberty for expanding or renovating your tiny home.

Unfortunately, because mobile home floor plans are so generic, there are many more hoops to jump through to attain permits for extensions or renovations.

Mobile Homes are Easier to Finance

Manufactured mobile homes make up a quarter of the homes in the United States. If the mobile home is permanently set up on land, it can easily be financed. Plus, since they are built under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD code), they are already approved for Conventional, FHA, and VA financing.

Unfortunately, tiny homes do not have this luxury. Compared to the rest of the market, not a lot of tiny homes are being sold. As a result, banks are less willing to offer loans. However, many tiny home construction companies provide a financing package to counteract this problem. Regardless, it is more complicated to finance a tiny home than a mobile home.

Tiny Homes Can Thrive Off-The-Grid

Tiny homes are known for their self-sufficiency. It is much easier to build a functional tiny home off the grid with its own composting toilets, solar panels, and water system. Mobile homes are more complicated for remote living because they require dump stations and other mobile hookups.

Mobile Homes Win in Storm Safety

Due to their weight, mobile homes withstand winds better than tiny homes. A well-constructed mobile home can stand up against category 3 tornado winds. There has not been much research regarding tiny homes and storms, but they more closely resemble a camper than a mobile home in storm resistance technologies.

Tiny Homes are Eco-Friendly

Due to their size, tiny homes are naturally better for the environment. They require less electricity to heat and cool the house and use significantly less water. A 2019 study found that people who moved from traditional housing to a tiny home used 45% less energy consumption.

Mobile homes were initially designed as vacation homes. Consequently, these homes were not designed with sustainability in mind. As a result, they tend to rely heavily on gas power. That being said, housing designers across the board are overarchingly working to improve sustainability in all dwellings.

At the end of the day, both tiny houses and mobile homes are suitable options for someone looking to minimize their life. However, before making a purchase, be sure to consider your timeline, desire for sustainability, and financial, mobility, and lifestyle needs.